(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – Arriving at an auditorium overflowing with supporters here this afternoon, President Obama made his pitch to Iowans in hopes of winning their support in November.
“This was a state that gave me a chance when nobody else would,” said the president, whose path to the Democratic nomination began with a win at the Iowa caucuses in 2008.
Obama went on to win the state by 10 percent of Republican Nominee John McCain in the general election, and while Iowa has only six electoral votes, it promises to be a battleground state once again. This was the president’s fourth visit to the state this year, and second to Cedar Rapids.
During his remarks, Obama repeated his message of restoring America’s middle class just one day after issuing a plea to Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year. FULL POST
Easter came early for some of the military families at the Fisher House at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. And, it was First Lady Michelle Obama who came bearing pastries from the White House. Bo, the first dog dressed in bunny ears accompanied the first lady on her visit.
“It is always one of my favorite things to do, to come to the Fisher House,” said the first lady holding a basket of Easter cookies, “This house is a home away from home for so many of our military families.”
The Fisher House is a refuge for veterans and their families as they receive medical care at Walter Reed. On Wednesday, 19 of those families took part in making arts and crafts, with the first lady on hand to spend some time chatting and signing autographs.
The families are among the 73 that live on the premises at Walter Reed, there are 57 Fisher Houses across the country in total.
Wednesday’s event is a part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign to bring recognition and support to military families. It’s been a year since the First Lady and Dr. Jill Biden kicked-off their “Joining Forces” initiative, and next week the two will hit the road on a two-day tour (which will include an appearance on the Colbert report, while in New York City) to celebrate its one year anniversary.
As she departed Mrs. Obama bid everyone adieu until Monday, when they will gather again, amongst many other revelers, for the annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House South Lawn.
Washington (CNN) – While President Obama has enjoyed relatively strong support from the African American community, grievances have been palpable over the disproportionate affect the weak economy has had on the black community.
Today the White House chose to address many of the concerns directly, hosting the first African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference. Cabinet officials and top White House staff sat on panels enumerating the president’s efforts and achievements that affect unemployment, health care and education among the areas of greatest issue.
Like going to church, there were moments of praise and prayer during the meeting. Congenial, but serious, the room of community and civil rights leaders, academics, faith leaders, and elected officials sought insight on how policies will address the most harrowing issues their communities face. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the growing poverty in his city has exceeded New York City’s in number of hungry children.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told the group that 20 percent of African Americans don’t have health insurance. Her opening remarks highlighted the dichotomy that exists in American health care services: “We have some of the best health care in the world, and some of the worst care in the world,” said Sebelius, pointing out that at issue is access for many of the poor and people of color.
Timed to the conference was the release of a new policy report outlining how administration policies impact the African American community. Sebelius touted the extra one million children who she says currently have access to health care as part of the Affordable Care Act.